28 July 2018 (Saturday) - Thoughful...

I slept well last night mainly because the dogs slept well - the rain seemed to have cleared the air. Over brekkie I watched more "People just do Nothing" before driving off to work.
As I got in my car there was some drivel on the radio about how many farms are starting up doing bed and breakfast as a way of trying to get people interested in farming, but the farmers being interviewed were rather disappointed. They were only attracting holidaymakers.
What did they expect?
With twenty minutes of "Farmers' Twaddle" still to go on the radio before the news started, I turned to my frankly awful music and I howled along as I drove up the motorway. I intended to turn back to the news when it started at seven o'clock, but I forgot. As I drove much of the motorway was still shut off. I wonder why - I can't find any explanation of what's going on anywhere on the Internet though.

Just as I got to Maidstone the heavens opened, and I did the last ten minutes of my drive in torrential rain. Once parked I sat in the car and waited for the rain to stop. After a while I realised I was going to have to bite the bullet, and I ran into work from the car park. I got rather wet and spent most of the morning drying out as I did my thing.

At tea break I saw something on my phone's Facebook app which I thought was rather sad. I spent much of the rest of the day following the post and thinking about it.
I follow several work-related Facebook groups because I find I can learn a *lot* from other people's experiences. From time to time I've shared various experiences myself on such sites, and many people have commented favourably. However this morning there was consternation on the New Medical Laboratory Science Facebook group.
During the week I saw a case study posted up in which the patient's name was just about visible. Someone in America had photographed a lab report and had tried to obscure the patient information with thick black marker pen. But she hadn't realised that the camera flash she'd used had made the original writing on the paper visible; specifically the patient's name. (That's why I produce my case studies as word documents with made-up patient names.)
On realising her error, the person who'd posted the offending picture immediately removed it, but not before some rather small-minded nasty person did a little research, found out exactly who it was who'd made the error, and reported her to her employers for a breach of patient confidentiality. She was promptly sacked.

OK - patient confidentiality had been breached. That is one of the worst things a hospital worker can do. When working in a hospital you find yourself privy to all sorts of confidential information, and keeping your mouth shut is a major part of the job. But this case wasn't a deliberate breach of confidentiality. It was an honest mistake made in an effort to share knowledge and experience.  
I've spent much of today reflecting on this episode. Had I been her employer, having been formally told of the incident I would have had to be seen to do *something* - I would have taken her into an office, closed the door, and given her a telling-off. It was clear she'd realised her mistake - and it was an honest mistake. A quiet word, probably a few tears, and all that would have been the end of it. However her employer saw fit to sack her for what was a simple oversight. Was that *really* necessary?
And now I'm pondering on what I share. Over the years I have shared much of my CPD blog to various professional groups. Should I stop doing so? And if I stop sharing interesting cases will others do likewise? How can we learn if not from the experiences of others?

I can't help but wonder who was it that reported this poor woman.  Whoever it was must have been a fellow blood-tester; all of the posts on that Facebook group are rather technical and frankly meaningless to anyone who doesn't have post-graduate qualifications in blood testing.
I *really* want to know what possessed them to be so nasty to a colleague. Did they have any idea of the consequences of their action? Do they subscribe to the naive notion that everything in life is a learning experience and people won't be victimised for errors? (not that I'm at all bitter here). Or do they just delight in being able to do someone a bad turn?
Reading some of the follow-up posts on that Facebook group was an eye-opener. There were some *really* nasty comment being made.

"My Boy TM" tells me I should spend less time on social media because of all this sort of nastiness. I try to rise above it. Sometimes it is difficult to do so…

1 comment:

  1. With the introduction of GDPR across the EU, it is quite likely the release of information that is not totally anonymised will lead to immediate dismissal as the potential cost to organisations is now simply too great. The maximum fines being whichever is the greater 20 million Euro or 4% of turnover are too great not to be seen to be taking action.